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Mastering Automotive Engineering Ages 16-18

Oxford Summer School 2020

Build a Caterham Seven 270 Sports Car!

ORA’s Mastering Automotive Engineering course offers a unique opportunity for a small group of keen engineers to spend their summer in the heart of the UK's Motorsport Valley®. Working on practical and academic aspects of Automotive Engineering, the course will culminate in the completion and testing of a self-assembly Caterham Car.

6 weeks | Available July - August 2020

  • Live, dine and study in colleges of the University of Oxford
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's faculty
  • Build a road legal Caterham kit car from scratch
  • Talks and debates with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - over 150 nationalities in 2019
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Ever aspired to build your own car? Or perhaps you'd like to be a Formula 1 engineer or driver?

ORA Experience

Course Summary

Mastering Automotive Engineering is a course aimed at introducing students to the field of engineering, using domains that pertain to automotive vehicle development. This course offers a hands-on approach to understanding vehicles: how they work; how they are developed, built, tested; the engineering design process; and approaches used to manage the development of complex products like today’s vehicles.

ORA Experience

In this unique, 6-week programme, students embark on a live simulation where they, the engineers, will build a Caterham sports car for sign-off testing. The students will manage the build project, build the vehicle, analyse the vehicle design, and finally, take to the passenger seat for vehicle testing with a test driver. The course starts with an introduction to engineering, then splits into technical and management aspects of engineering.

This course will last for 6 weeks due to the nature of the car build project. Students seeking a shorter summer programme may be interested in our 2-week Engineering Preparation programme.

ORA Experience

Why choose the Mastering Automotive Engineering course?

We are amidst a transport revolution with the advent of connected vehicles, vehicle electrification, and highly autonomous driving. Vehicles can now communicate with devices and infrastructure; combine batteries, fuel cells, and electric machines for propulsion; and drive themselves with fewer human inputs. Automotive engineering is a rapidly growing sub-field in engineering, becoming more multidisciplinary than ever before – drawing on several other fields, such as software engineering and artificial intelligence.

This brand new course being pioneered by ORA will give students a completely unique opportunity to build a world-famous Caterham Car with their own hands, alongside an intensive introduction to the academic principles of the Automotive Engineering discipline, all based in the world-renowned Motorsport Valley®.

How will the Mastering Automotive Engineering course help me?

Students on this programme will develop practical skills and insights into the fascinating industry of automotive engineering, development and manufacturing, as well as building strong team-working and project-planning capabilities. The small group teaching and marked assignments will provide excellent preparation for the study of Engineering (or a related subject) at a higher level. Students will also gain the satisfaction of spending their summer completing a long-term practical project with a defined outcome as part of a close-knit, international team.

Is this course for me?

If you have an academic interest in Engineering, and a practical interest in the mechanics of car-building, this is the course for you. Students on the Mastering Automotive Engineering course will spend their summer working on a challenging, stimulating project, and will finish the course with a true understanding of what life as an Engineer is like, along with a real sense of accomplishment.

Topics Covered

During the course, students will cover the following topics:

  • An introduction to engineering.
  • An introduction to automotive engineering.
  • Systems and subsystems on automotive vehicles.
  • Fundamental engineering concepts supporting vehicle design.
  • An introduction to project management in engineering.
  • Systems engineering.
  • Product development.
  • Project planning.

Subject to completion of the vehicle build and manufacturer safety checks, the students will be taken on a track day in the vehicle they have built.

What will you get out of the Mastering Automotive Engineering course?

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • gained a head-start in this cutting-edge field by being introduced to key engineering concepts and processes;
  • decided strategies for problem-solving, project-planning and communicating ideas;
  • begun to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively;
  • acquired understanding of the key scientific concepts behind automotive engineering;
  • gained an understanding of the full life-cycle of automotive engineering, from concept/design stages through to quality control;
  • successfully constructed a road-worthy Caterham Car as a team.

Welcome to the City of Oxford - your home this summer

ORA Experience

Oxford is a city like no other, combining startlingly beautiful architecture with a buzzing, modern city centre, with superb shopping, restaurants, cafés and more. With the colleges of Oxford University at its heart, some almost 800 years old, it is a city steeped in history and academia.

Students on Oxford Royale's Oxford summer courses will have the chance to live, dine and study in this stunning city, exploring all of its major sites and discovering its hidden secrets. Through both organised trips to key landmarks and free time in the evenings, students will become acquainted with all that Oxford has to offer.

As students walk the cobbled streets and gaze up at the spires, gargoyles and honey-coloured stone buildings, they will be walking in the footsteps of some of the most influential figures in history, including prime ministers, presidents, Nobel prize-winning scientists, authors and more.

Why study in Oxford?
Why study in Oxford?
Why study in Oxford?

Useful information for students & parents


Students will be accommodated in comfortable single or twin rooms depending on their allocated college - please contact our admissions team if you would like more information. Twin rooms are strictly between students of the same gender, and males/females are separated by corridor and/or staircase. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for university undergraduates who study at the university, so students are able to get a flavour for what being an undergraduate at the university might be like. Bathrooms are typically shared between students of the same gender, though in some cases en-suite facilities are available.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who very often are current members of the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge. The Counsellors ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to discuss university applications. Each campus has members of residential staff who live in the college throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • Must conform to our age policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Admissions Team on [email protected] and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Admissions Team for more detailed information.

Our Teaching Faculty

At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching faculty available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subjects, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here.

Guest Lectures & Debates

At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of fascinating guest lectures. Guest speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialisms, including the worlds of online media, television and academia. Our students also have the opportunity to watch and participate in a number of debates, which take place on campus. These range from formal Panel Debates, involving teaching faculty and other staff, to informal discussions about current “hot topics” led by Counsellors.

Coach Excursions

The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way for a young learner to explore this. All ORA courses include at least one coach excursion to places of historical and social significance in the UK.

Extra-curricular Activities

At ORA, we never forget that our students are on holiday! Included with every ORA course is an extra-curricular timetable, carefully designed by our dedicated Events Team to ensure our students have fun, make friends and get the most out of their time with us.

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Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Mastering Automotive Engineering for Ages 16-18 is residential in the following venues:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our admissions team)

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